Europe's first spacecraft to the moon ended its three-year mission Sunday with a planned crash, hitting its target after ground controllers had to maneuver it around a looming crater rim.
Earlier this year, astronomers witnessed for the first time the final death throes of an aged and collapsing star as it spewed high-energy light beams into space before exploding as a supernova.
Ground controllers today successfully performed a major maneuver of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter—an “end game” tactic that puts the orbiting probe a step closer to studying the red planet with its entire suite of science sensors.
Europe's first mission to the moon is due to crash-land in a cloud of dust and rock early Sunday, ending a three-year voyage that gathered data about the lunar surface and tested a new engine intended to propel future spacecraft to Mercury and ot
Odd flashing pulses coming from a super-magnetic star called a magnetar have astronomers glued to telescopes across the globe. Magnetars are particularly energetic versions of neutron stars, which are the burned out remnants of regular stars.
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Pluto, beloved by some as a cosmic underdog but scorned by astronomers who considered it too dinky and distant, was unceremoniously stripped of its status as a planet Thursday.
Astronomers meeting in the Czech capital have voted to strip Pluto of its status as a planet.
The true abundance in the Milky Way of a heavy, primordial form of hydrogen has eluded scientists for decades, but it turns out that huge quantities of it have been hidden in the dust that is scattered between stars.
A Japanese space tourist who had hoped to blast off on board a Russian rocket next month was deemed unfit for the trip, a Russian space official said, adding that a U.S. woman [who funded the X prize] was most likely to replace him.
A huge collision between two clusters of galaxies has provided the first direct evidence of the existence of the universe's mysterious dark matter, researchers said.
A U.S.-Canadian venture to develop suborbital and orbital rocket ships has found a new launch site along the Atlantic coastline of Nova Scotia. The London, Ontario, Canada-based firm PlanetSpace has secured a team agreement for 300 acres of land a
Solar activity is near the low point in the cycle now. Few sunspots appear and solar flares are rare. But on July 31, a tiny sunspot appeared and then vanished after a few hours. It was a normal event, except that it was magnetically backward.
NASA announced that it has picked Space Exploration Technologies and Rocketplane Kistler to share $500 million to develop new commercial delivery services for the International Space Station.
Unshaken by a launch failure of its Falcon 1, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is pressing forward on a return-to-flight of its privately-built booster. The maiden liftoff earlier this year and subsequent loss of Falcon 1 has led to a shakeout
The Spitzer Space Telescope has taken an unprecedented look at the wispy Orion nebula to find a cornucopia of stars and dust with the recipe build planets. Spitzer’s infrared eye found some 2,300 disks of planet-forming material that were either t
If there are other occupants of this galactic neighborhood, we could turn up a signal. But then what? Would the discovery be put under wraps, either voluntarily or by government edict? If we found a signal, would you know?
It's the plutons - Pluto-type objects - that have the potential to do the most to bulk up the solar system. He estimates the solar system might end up with some 53 planets as astronomers continue to explore the solar system's outer reaches.
They're out there, hidden among a haze of stars killer asteroids. Now the world's astronomers are keeping a wary eye to the skies for giant objects on a collison course with Earth.
Suggesting a solution to a years-old puzzle, scientists say the dark spots that appear on the south polar region of Mars each spring could be caused by violent eruptions of heated gas. An analysis of images from NASA's Odyssey orbiter suggests j
The tally of planets in our solar system would jump instantly to a dozen under a highly controversial new definition proposed by the International Astronomical Union. Eventually there would be hundreds as more round objects are found beyond Neptune.
Dozens of rocky bodies that are part of a sea of small rocky fragments never observed before have been spotted in the suburbs of our solar system beyond planet Neptune, thanks to a novel technique. These newly detected chunks of dust and rock coin
But Apollo 11 is a memory rewind—now over 37 years old. Nobody is quite sure just how much longer the original slow-scan tapes will last … that is, if they haven’t already been erased. [They're not lost, we can't find them.]
Theorists have long suspected that the competition between gravity pulling inward and magnetic pressure pushing outward would produce a warped, hourglass pattern to the magnetic field within these collapsed cores. Now they've finally found jus
As you stroll through the desert airport/spaceport here, you don’t see a “Keep Out! Spaceliner Under Construction” sign. On the other hand, there’s a palpable feeling that behind closed hangar doors, the future of public space travel is, indeed, a wo
Some 3,000 astronomers and scientists from around the world will meet in Prague this week to decide whether Pluto, discovered in 1930, measures up to the definition of a planet.
Those industrious robots on Mars—NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers—remain on duty as they gather new science data from their respective spots on the red planet. Opportunity has just concluded a survey of Beagle Crater, a relatively young featur
The case of the lithium that has gone missing since the Big Bang has been solved -- the stars swallowed it. The discrepancy between the quantity of lithium estimated to have been created at the start of the universe and the small amount now actually
A two-year survey of enormous interstellar dust clouds has turned up eight organic molecules in two different regions of space. One is a stellar nursery awash in light while the other is a cold, starless void.
A project aiming to create an easier way to measure cosmic distances has instead turned up surprising evidence that our large and ancient universe might be even bigger and older than previously thought. If accurate, the finding would be difficult